Sunday, April 2, 2017

Baking Day Saturday; Sunny Warm Sunday!

Since I was hunkered down yesterday due to the snow and wind, I made it a baking day. Our youngest husky Charlie has leaky anal glands, without going into too much detail, feeding her some pumpkin helps with her natural musk so to speak...but she hates it! I have to mix a little into her food and hide the rest in cookies. She gets two of these each day and it helps. I tried a new recipe as opposed to my regular Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Cookies. It was terrible to work with and the blog poster never answered many questions people had over the last few months, so I won't grace my blog with the link. I want to try to stop using peanut butter since Alex has an allergy, it could be dangerous if I miss something, so I was looking for a recipe with pumpkin and banana. I found it, but...anyway, I couldn't use my dog bone cookie cutter, boo hoo, too sticky. Next time I'll use my own recipe and substitute the peanut butter with mashed banana. Solved. The dogs still loved these though!

I gave myself a baking challenge to make homemade cheese nips since the batch I bought at the store was burned. I made these Cheese-It's and though they turned out nicely and looked the part, we still found them a little too flour-heavy (for our taste). I'll keep trying different things in the future to see if I can perfect this recipe. I'm glad I only made half the recipe though. Even with the floury flavour, they are all gone as I type this lol...beggars being choosy? :)

After I read Sam I Am's post about her lemon cakes, I just had to make one! Sorry Sam, I hope you don't think I ripped apart your recipe...but I didn't have self-raising flour, nor a fresh I scoured the internet for a similar recipe that I could make based on what I had. Plus instead of a lemon/sugar syrup drizzled on top, I made it my own and drizzled it with Limoncello. DELISH! Here's my adapted recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake.

We had breakfast for dinner last night! Blueberry pancakes with bacon and my fricassee potatoes. I just cut up 2 small potatoes, a small onion and cook them in butter in a frying pan on low, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour...they are really good! Since we had the lemon cake, the strawberry shortcake will fall to tonight's dessert...or maybe a sweet lunch :)

What a difference one day makes!!! It's sunny, mild and all that snow we got yesterday should be melted by sundown!

I see the lawn in the middle of all the doggie prints!

April 2nd, the first day that I sat out in simply my pj's and slippers! It's 5 Celsius on the thermometer, but in the sun, it felt about 15. I stayed outside for 3 hours this morning, reading my anxiety book. I needed some real Vitamin D...gosh I hope this isn't just another weather tease! That's the thing about our "spring"'s complete winter then boom! Over a week's time it's spring, then a week later we're into a heat wave...I saw a few flies while I was out which reminds me that Alex is going to make me a screened-in porch at the end of April. Last year I hung pieces of an old camping dining worked but tore a lot in the wind so he's going to make it nice and permanent! Alex uses the bedroom screened-in veranda during the summers to hang out on his hammock...the backyard porch is mine! :) I spend time out there in the yard, this year will be also in the garden and with the dogs. It's nice to have our own outdoor spaces that we can share once in a while too. :)

I finished this book while I was out on the porch this morning. I wrote my review here. Generally speaking, I go into the why's in the review, I didn't really find this book eye-opening. Probably because years ago I did all the same research on my own and implemented mostly the same ideas that she has in her book. I was expecting something different. Anyway, I've found in the last few weeks, that just eating sensibly, practicing a cozy lifestyle, exercising on the rebounder daily, getting outside, staying hydrated and meditating has pretty much squashed the anxiety bug in me as long as I keep it up. I eat sugar, gluten, dairy and grains. I drink coffee and wine too. These are some things she suggests eliminating. But I think I've found my balance and I feel so much better. I don't regret buying the book because I learned a few new things, but in the end, self-help books are always a bit of a gamble anyway!

One thing though, she mentions that companies are not required to list genetically modified foods on their list of ingredients (this book was written in 2011 and she is referring to the States). I feel so ignorant, because it would be a good assumption that companies ARE required to do so. I just looked it up on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's requirement. But they do say that Canada produces 4 GM products: modified corn products, sugar beet, canola and soybean. That doesn't mean that we don't import other GM foods from other countries though...We really need to watch what we buy and consume!

As for this book, The Cozy Life, I read it yesterday. I did like it, it was better than the Little Book of Hygge in my opinion! I took a lot of notes as I read it, and I wrote my review here if anyone wants to read it, it's rather long so I put it on a separate page that I posted! I also wrote a list of hygge activities to bring more coziness and comfort to your life - this list is customized to my own home life, but it's a good motivational list to get you thinking about how to make your lifestyle more cozy and comfy for you. I think this book is worth the read!

But again, I'm already doing most of these things that the hygge concept suggest doing! Even sitting on the porch in my pyjamas this morning with my coffee felt so cozy. Actually it's funny because Alex and I thought we coined the phrase "Pyjama Lifestyle" which is how we describe our own way of living. Little did we know the Danes have been doing it for years already!

The girls, husky bookends, enjoying the sunny warm weather.

Ooh! Too bright for Jack!! :) Maybe some sun glasses would help! :) I hope everyone has nice weather and enjoying their Sunday!

And as I often say, thanks for reading!


  1. Good thing those new dog cookies aren't in our house. My Cookie Monster husband would have gobbled up half of them already! No wonder your dogs like them. Can't you just hear them talking with each other? "Look, we're getting people cookies now!"

    Your Cheese-Its look like some kind of a gourmet cracker! Too bad the taste isn't exactly as you wished it to be.

    I had to chuckle at your "Land Ho!" picture. It is exciting when the ground actually begins to show through after being covered with the white stuff for so many months, isn't it?

    You have (once again) inspired me. We usually wait until much later in the season to get out our deck furniture. I was just looking (ugh) at my lily-white legs this morning while getting dressed and made a vow that I'll not be seen in shorts this summer until I get some tan on them. What better way to start than an hour here or there on the deck as soon as I can expose my legs without the chance of getting chilblains. Your deck arrangement looked so cozy I'm going to get at least a chair and end table for my morning latte (or afternoon wine) out asap!

    1. Hi Mama Pea :) Yeah the dogs are a bit spoiled :) a teensy bit! :) I do lots of things to make my life easier too though. Trying to fight Charlie by stuffing pumpkin puree down her throat isn't the complicated task I want in my life lol...and of course, I love it when they get excited over food! The Cheeze-It's...I think a big part of the problem is that IF we hadn't tasted the overly processed boxed version that has "modified cheese" in it...then we probably would have loved them. But those processed ones put so much added stuff in to make things taste intense...nobody can achieve that at home, and I wouldn't want to. If I can just get the over-floury taste out, they'd be really great!

      Yeah, my Land Ho! It was a thrill to see the brown ground! :) legs will blind you this time of year too! Hee hee...but being of Celtic descent and living up north, I don't care about that anymore. In the summer, I do get lots of freckles and more burns than tans, but the sun is definitely hot enough now for you to sizzle a little each day!! :) I just love being outside so any chance I get, I'm out on that porch! It's tiny though. When it's all up and running, I'll take a picture. But again, I'm making do with what I have and a small porch is better than no porch! I love afternoon wine in the sun :))

  2. Yay for warming up!!! And just look - there is land! :) I hope this is the end of winter for you guys. We are awfully windy today and no sun (again). But its 11 degrees so I won't complain...much. :) This week they are promising more sun and a bit warmer here and there. I will just take one day at a time. Can't rush Mother Nature one little bit.

    Those dog biscuits look lovely! Our Hunter is having a tough time with certain foods/ingredients. I just wish that he could have peanut butter...his stomach doesn't seem to like it (yet). Our Karma was like that when she was little so I am hoping he will get better as he gets older. He turns 6 months old this week and I am hoping that things settle down for him tummy wise. One of our dogs that we lost February 2016 had bad anal gland issues. It was a once monthly trip to the vet to get them sorted. Poor girl. Her name was Willow and she was one of the best dogs we have ever had. The vet tried to teach us how to do it at home because of the cost but we never could get it quite right, plus we were scared that we would wind up hurting her somehow.

    That lemon cake looks divine! I love anything lemon....I have never had limoncello! What do you mix it with or do you drink it straight up? All we are drinking here is tea lately - my husband has caught a nasty cold and his throat is killing him. So I am filling him up with tea and kindness and just waiting for it to come my way. I am always the last to get it - after taking care of everyone else! :)

    Today for dinner is 5 spice turkey lettuce wraps. And I made a tabbouleh salad to go with. Its a simple supper tonight - I like simple suppers! Milkshakes for dessert :) as per my son's request.

    Have a lovely Sunday evening- hope the snow has melted and its nice and cozy!

    1. Hi Dianna :)) Charlie's glands are leaky, so even releasing them does her no good because they just leak out. We've found that the pumpkin helps with the smell and frequent bathing down there! Jack's get blocked and every month, I put his muzzle on and try to express them as the vet showed me, but they do squeal don't they? I feel as though I'm hurting him too, but I just can't afford to go that often. Sometimes it takes both of us holding him to get it done. But I found that if I put him in the bath on a towel with some warm water showering down on him, he gets a little distracted and I can do it, it's not the funnest of tasks!

      Marlene has issues with a lot of foods actually, but I give her a pro-biotic powder twice a day in her food and she can eat like the others now, have you thought of that for Hunter or is he too young to start adding supplements for digestion? I do hope he grows out of it!

      The lemon cake WAS divine, lol...I think there is one little slice left...the Limoncello is very nice! I like it with just a little ice in it like a digestif. Some people make cocktails with it and have have a summer drink that Alex makes with ginger ale and Limoncello and it's very refreshing! It's an Italian liqueur traditionally served after meals...I love the stuff! :)

      Your dinner sounds good and very healthy! I especially love your dessert lol! We have some leftover bananas so tomorrow I might make banana splits!!

      Have a nice Sunday yourself! :) I hope you don't get sick!!!

    2. Hiya!! Hunter has a very long story attached to our poor boy which I will pen another time but he has been on goats milk with added probiotics since the start of February. It has helped his issue greatly! Our other two are on a probiotic yogurt. I have also purchased some dried kelp with loads of added probiotic which we will test once his goats milk is all done.

      I think I would really like that drink with the ginger ale as that is my most favorite soda! I also have a recipe for homemade ginger ale which is delicious!!

      I am willing myself to not get far so good!!

    3. Hi Dianna :)...our poor little pets with all their digestive issues...we're doing our best for them though :) I had to switch to goat milk products myself for about 2 years to heal my digestion. I loved it, but whoa it's pricey! I've seen Alton Brown make ginger ale on one of his shows, but I've never tried it myself, that might be a nice project for me this summer!

  3. I thought cheese crackers would be hard but I found a video where some guy was making them. Looks like a neat thing to make. Hope your snow soon melts!

    1. Thanks for the video link Gill :) He does use less flour in his recipe...and I like that he mixes Cheddar with Parm...I'll have to try that one out! :) They really are easy to make!

  4. All that fiid kooks so good...even the dog cookies sound like we would like them
    I am glad that spring finally reached your neck of the woods. I worked in the yard and field all day. It was sooooo good for the soul. I am exhausted and tired and so so happy.
    I cant wait to see your little porch and garden bloom.
    I like the book too. I havnt finished it yet tho.
    So did Jack pick a pair of sunglasses yet ?

    1. Hi Nik :) Funny how everyone is saying how the dog cookies look good enough to eat! They smell like banana bread! I'm not sure spring has sprung completely yet, it's sunny today but it looks like more snow mixed with rain until Sunday, sigh. Poor's so bright for those big brown eyes! I'm glad you got out into the yard!

  5. I LOVE your list of Hygge Activities, so many beautiful ideas! It's in my bookmarks. The nips look great, much better than mine would have.:) Hope you have a lovely week!

    1. Thanks Rachel :) I hope you have a great week too!

  6. I need to made dog treats. We are completely out. I made cheese nips from scratch once. The batter had to be refrigerated for so many hours until rolling. Cute dog photos.

    1. Hi Kristina :) Yeah, I had to keep mine in the fridge for at least an hour because the dough is really sticky. I just need to find a good recipe with less flour I think. I have some bookmarked!

  7. I love breakfast for dinner - I find it hard to eat breakfast foods for breakfast. I hadn't thought to add bananas to the dog biscuits but that is a great idea. They love your peanut butter/pumpkin ones. However, they are all on the fat side, so biscuits have been cut back - poor things. I keep telling them that I've cut my own biscuits back, too, but it doesn't seem to make them feel any less neglected. I am reading The Cozy Life now, and it IS a good book. It's mostly common sense, but it's easy to get separated from our sense of belonging and intimacy when we are so hooked up to our electronics. Our Sunday weather was glorious, too, and it gave me such hope. But, as you said, I'm waiting for the other snowshoe to drop. I don't trust the weather until May.

    1. Hi Susan! :) I'm not a big breakfast person either...I know that I probably should be eating in the morning for health, but honestly, food turns me off in the AM. Awww...poor things not getting cookies!!! Jack weighed twice his weight when we got him in September of 2015 and we had to put him on a strict diet. He's so much healthier and peppy now!

      You're so right about being hooked up to the electronics. Not that I want to go back to pioneer days without electricity, but it's just too much in our modern age. I do appreciate the internet for blogging, recipes and finding information, but the days when I find myself more "hooked" on my computer, I feel like I've wasted time.

  8. I find the laws about GMOs odd (both here and in your neck of the woods, apparently). It seems to me that it should simply be a part of the information of the product and the consumer makes their choice. The fact that they deny the consumer the choice seems a bit wonky to me.

    1. You're right, it SHOULD be our choice...why hide it? I wouldn't say the general population knows too much about GMO's, I mean, I kind of knew this and that, but until I actually looked it up, I was ignorant about it. I think that the companies count on that ignorance.

  9. I am absolutely fine with you changing the recipe to suit your needs and what you have on hand! It's not my recipe anyway, I got it from Lucy at Attic 24 I think and she's a Brit so I just converted the metrics and made it from there. As long as you enjoyed it that's what counts! I ended up using the other 'bad' lemon cake...(so dry) for strawberry shortcakes....the strawberries and juice really helped and of course the whipped cream! LOL! At least I didn't have to throw it out.
    I know all about those anal glands and sometimes have to take the girls to the vet and have them 'expressed' manually by the vet....what a stink! And just another reason why animals and carpeting don't mix! LOL!
    The FDA and other gov't agencies here and in Canada I imagine all take money from the big corporations so they don't make them abie by common sense. Our gov't here is no democracy that's for sure! You can tell by the Bozo we have for president right now! Our so called "democracy" here has been bought and paid for and it wasn't by the American citizens either! It's getting worse every day here and yes they have destroyed our food supply with chemicals,pesticides and GMO's so raising your own food is about the only way and buying organic which I have a hard time finding so I have to order it online but thank goodness for that!
    You made me laugh with your 'land ho'....too funny!
    I read that exact book on Hygge! And just like you I liked all of it and do most of it except for the entertaining. I agree with you about self help books too....if you only pick up one thing out of a book it is a win....often they repeat themselves or it's something you already know but you might learn something new and over the years I have not regretted reading them as they have helped a great deal!
    Have a great week! Hugs~Sam

  10. Hi Sam :) Oh, I'm FINALLY making my strawberry shortcakes tonight...I hope the strawberries are still nice! Yes, of course, whipped cream is the crowning glory that stuff! The lemon cake was so good...and I also found recipes on Brit blogs, I guess they do it best!!

    Yeah, Jack scoots sometimes on one of the rugs here...that's when I know it's time to help him out! It is quite the odour and we smell that on a daily basis with Charlie. But the alternative is a painful surgery and we don't want her going through that so we put up with the smell. She clings to Alex (daddy's girl that she is) and sometimes he takes Vicks Vapo-Rub ointment and puts it under his nose it's a crime scene! Always makes me laugh.

    I always get something out of the self-help books, but I get tired of the same old thing. I guess I'm waiting for the big epiphany, either my own or something I'm reading! The Cozy Life is a great book, I really like it!

    You know, just over the last year, I've been more in tune with the foods we eat, the quality of merchandise and the lack of any kind of care from the's all about money isn't it? Even the organic food here is sometimes out of our price range...because Canada doesn't subsidize the organic farmers like they do the non-organic farmers. If I could afford it, I would ONLY eat organic. But we are slowly making changes and really noticing the difference in taste, quality and even our digestion of certain foods. Like, when I buy a head of lettuce at the market, no issues. When we buy one at the grocery store, we can't digest it as well. I can't wait to start feeding us from my garden!!!


❤ Thanks for your comment, I love hearing from everyone! ❤ Why not join me and my fellow artists every Thursday for TADD? That's Thursday Art and Dinner Date! It's a lot of fun!